I am a member of the unique creed called the “Urban middle class Indians”. I find that a liability though, because membership in this elite club often implies the following, a) I suffer from excessive wisdom and knowledge about everything that I have no idea about, b) My activism is limited to facebook, twitter and linkedin, c) I have very strong opinions on everything without ever having done any real work in the grassroot, d) Excessive empathy to the point where I am more affected by the damage done to those reported in the news and e) I want the state to pay more attention to what I think is the solution, as opposed to an actual solution.
Make no mistake, my creed is highly successful. We successfully got the government to implement the death penalty for child rape even though every person who has worked with children who are victims of child sexual abuse have said that death penalty will lead to greater chances of rape turning to murder and it will aggravate the problems of under-reporting of crimes by victims of incestuous or acquaintance rape due to inherent dynamics associated ambivalent feelings towards the offender. That is a different issue though and this post is not about that. This post is about me because I am a middle class urban Indian and I am more important than everything else.
I have tried and continued to try to mitigate the ill effects of privilege, trying in the process to hold on to humility and investing myself in trying to learn more about what I have an opinion on and deferring my own views to that of experts, lest I cause wrong policy to be put in place. But I find my efforts half hearted. All said and done, the underlining tone in my head still remains “I don’t care what you think or what the reality of the subject is, my way is the highway and everything else is just the mud road that eventually leads off the cliff”. I don’t have any control over this confidence and despite best efforts by well meaning people, my confidence is unshakable just like Bill O Reilly.
On the other hand, to hell with the well meaning people. I see the news with all the reports about ghastly crimes against women and children. I am so traumatised sitting in front of the computer, with a home over my head and sipping my earl grey tea or cleansing charcoal juice. What do the contrarians know? It is not as if their wives or mothers or sisters or daughters have been raped. I don’t know the contrarian very well, but if they don’t support the death penalty, the women in their lives must have grown up with special security by highly trained women commandos of the NSG (because women commandos as we all know don’t commit sexual assault). Its not an assumption, its a fact, my fact. And my fact is bigger than your fact.
So while you go about trying to figure out how to help victims of sexual assault cope with this new complication in their life, I will book a counselling and therapy sessions. All the wisdom that I have and the confidence I suffer from is very difficult to cope with.